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‘Golden opportunity’ for companies to gain contracts at RAF Lakenheath

PUBLISHED: 16:21 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:21 04 October 2018

F35 at RAF Lakenheath Picture: GARY STEDMAN

F35 at RAF Lakenheath Picture: GARY STEDMAN

A major multi-million dollar investment in RAF Lakenheath has opened up a “golden opportunity” for businesses in the region to gain contracts.

A special free event is held later this month to help businesses learn more about opportunities brought by United States Air Force (USAF) improvements to the Suffolk airbase.

More than a hundred million dollars is being invested in the Lakenheath area as part of the USAF programme to base the F35 Fighter and its supporting personnel in the UK.

The free event is aimed at bringing together major national and multi-national construction contractors with local businesses to present opportunities and explain how to become part of their supply chain.

There will be also be the chance for local enterprises to find out how to utilise resource currently available for skills, recruitment and capital investment for growing businesses so they are able to effectively capitalise on the opportunities.

West Suffolk councils have teamed up with West Suffolk College, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Job Centre Plus, Suffolk County Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to link up regional businesses and major construction contractors to answer questions and identify future ways of working and networks to benefit communities.

Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Wates are three of the major firms that have been shortlisted to the preferred bidder stage for the RAF Lakenheath project, and the companies will be speaking to businesses about their vision for effective procurement in the area, and how businesses can become part of their supply chain.

James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “This is a chance not to be missed and a golden opportunity for local businesses to benefit from this major investment in RAF Lakenheath.

“We know we have some of the best businesses in the country and this free event will help many go onto the next level.

“West Suffolk is host to several major construction projects being planned or delivered now, including the major build up work taking place at RAF Lakenheath to accommodate new F35s.

“Supporting local businesses and encouraging investment is at the heart of what our councils do.

“The USAF is investing more than one hundred million dollars in the base and we want to make sure that local firms are able to be in the best position to benefit from it and be part of this development.”

The event is being held on Monday, October 22, from 9am at Newmarket Racecourse.

Businesses are invited to contact Clare Harding at clare.harding@westsuffolk.gov.uk to attend and the event will be followed by a buffet lunch.

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